Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Mariners 3
By Rob Rains
Paul DeJong returned to the Cardinals on Sunday and immediately made his presence known – in a big way.
Activated from the injured list before the game against the Mariners, and starting at shortstop, DeJong had three hits, one of them a home run, to help the Cardinals salvage the final game of the series in Seattle.
DeJong had been rehabbing in Memphis since the start of the season after missing most of spring training because of injuries. He drove in six runs with three hits, including a home run, in his final game in Memphis on Friday night.
Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:
At the plate: DeJong hit one of the Cardinals’ three homers. Lars Nootbaar led off the game with a home run and Nolan Gorman hit his team-leading sixth of the year, a three-run shot, in the fourth inning. DeJong’s homer came in the seventh, following a pair of singles … Nootbaar also had three of the Cardinals’ 13 hits … Willson Contreras started as the DH but was ejected after arguing following a strikeout in the fifth inning.
On the mound: Jack Flaherty turned in only the third quality start of the season for the Cardinals, allowing the three Seattle runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out nine … Genesis Cabrera, Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos combined for the final nine outs.
Key stat: According to researcher Tom Orf, Gorman is only the third player 22 years old or younger in franchise history to drive in 22 or more runs in the first 22 games of a season. The others were Albert Pujols with 25 RBIs in 2001 and Joe Medwick with 24 in 1934.
Worth noting: Nootbaar’s leadoff homer was the second of his career. He also hit one at Arizona on Aug. 21, 2022. It was the third leadoff home run hit by a Cardinal in an American League park. Skip Schumaker hit one in Detroit in 2006 and Matt Carpenter against the Angels in Los Angeles in 2016 … To make room for DeJong on the roster, Taylor Motter was designated for assignment.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals move down the coast to begin a four-game series on Monday night against the Giants in San Francisco. Jordan Montgomery is the scheduled starter.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains